NEW YORK — The LA Galaxy made the biggest splash in Wednesday’s Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, trading up to get the fifth pick in the draft and selecting former New York Red Bulls designated player Juan Pablo Angel.
Ángel – who scored 61 goals in four seasons in New York – now has the opportunity to switch coasts to Los Angeles, where the Galaxy could line up a front line of Ángel and 2010 Best XI selection Edson Buddle, along with big names Landon Donovan and David Beckham in pursuit of a second consecutive Supporters’ Shield.
Watch: Best of Juan Pablo Angel
The Galaxy gave up their fourth round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft to the Houston Dynamo for the chance to grab Ángel, who saw his playing time diminish after the midseason arrival of Thierry Henry. Ángel could rejoin his former coach Bruce Arena, who led the Red Bulls during a 2007 season that saw Ángel put up 19 goals and five assists, his best numbers in MLS thus far.
The teams who made selections on Wednesday now have seven days to tender an offer to their respective players. If an offer is made and no agreement is reached, the club will hold the right of first refusal on the player’s services in MLS.
Ángel was certainly the biggest name to crop up during the draft on Wednesday, but not the only star. D.C. United selected MLS and World Cup veteran Josh Wolff with the first pick in the draft after he spent the last seven seasons in Kansas City. Wolff, 33, scored two goals and added three assists in 2010 and could join a D.C. United team that finished last in the league in scoring last season.
Wolff’s former Kansas City teammate Jimmy Conrad also went in the early going on Wednesday, taken second overall by Chivas USA. Conrad spent the last the last eight seasons in Kansas City and was a perennial All-Star during his time there, and could join a Chivas USA team largely in-flux after missing the postseason in 2010.
Longtime Columbus Crew veteran and former US international Frankie Hejduk was taken with the eighth overall pick by Sporting Kansas City. Hejduk was one of a number of players left available to draft by the Crew, and he joins a Sporting team that coincidentally lost young defender Aaron Hohlbein in last week’s opening round of the Re-Entry Draft to Columbus.
Veteran striker Jeff Cunningham, meanwhile, appears set for a return tour with Columbus. Cunningham scored 11 goals in the regular season and another in the postseason for FC Dallas in 2010, and tied Jaime Moreno’s all-time MLS mark of 132 goals before Moreno scored his 133rd in the season finale for D.C. United.
Cunningham spent his first seven seasons in the league with Columbus, appearing in at least 20 games per season with the Crew and scoring 16 goals in 2002.
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz was selected with the ninth pick overall by the Seattle Sounders, and will join his third MLS team in five seasons. The 23-year-old netminder appeared in a career-high 23 games with the Philadelphia Union in 2010 after he was traded before the season from Real Salt Lake.
The Galaxy and New England Revolution were the most active teams on Wednesday, with the Revs using their first pick on defender Ryan Cochrane and selecting veteran midfielder Fred as the only pick made by any team after the first round.
Los Angeles selected midfielder Luke Sassano with their second pick in the first round after the 25-year-old appeared in just three games for the New York Red Bulls last season.
The defending MLS Cup champions Colorado Rapids shored up their defensive options by selecting Tyrone Marshall, who spent the last three seasons with the Seattle Sounders.
The Chicago Fire also addressed their pressing defensive needs by taking Cory Gibbs, who appeared in a career-high 25 games in 2010 with the Revolution.
Former Columbus Crew designated player Guillermo Barros Schelotto was among the players not taken in the draft. That list also includes Dema Kovaleno, Nick Garcia, Adrian Serioux, Pat Onstad and the veteran goal-scorer Moreno.
Those players are now considered free agents available to all teams on a first-come, first-serve basis.
STAGE 2 RE-ENTRY DRAFT SELECTIONS
- D.C. United: Josh Wolff
- Chivas USA: Jimmy Conrad
- New England Revolution: Ryan Cochrane
- LA Galaxy: Juan Pablo Ángel
- Chicago Fire: Cory Gibbs
- Sporting Kansas City: Frankie Hejduk
- Seattle Sounders: Chris Seitz
- Columbus Crew: Jeff Cunningham
- LA Galaxy: Luke Sassano
- Colorado Rapids: Tyrone Marshall
- New England Revolution: Fred